Address the perennial budget discrimination! Nandi Youths submit a Memo to County Assembly.

Nandi Budget Champions addressing media
To address the injustice, a group of over 120 passionate young people from Nandi endeavored to change the status quo. With the technical support of the Open Governance Institute (OGI), the youth of Nandi County drafted and submitted a memorandum containing Alternative Budget Proposals on for consideration by their elected representatives in the County Assembly on 26th May 2022. The contained proposals aim to address among others, the social and economic needs of young people in Nandi County, foster transparency and accountability, and strengthen the participation of citizens in matters of interest to them.

The Kenyan government’s devolved system of governance was adopted to foster self-governance by empowering and facilitating communities to participate in their development planning and budgeting and other decisions that affect their lives. Although public involvement is widely practised by county governments, public budgets are inadequate in addressing community needs, especially for special interest groups such as youths. Partially because the participatory structure is limited in access and meaningfulness for young people and other groups to shape the budget to align with their needs. Young people view these inadequacies as injustice. 

To address the injustice, a group of over 120 passionate young people from Nandi endeavoured to change the status quo. With the technical support of the Open Governance Institute (OGI), the youth of Nandi County drafted and submitted a memorandum containing Alternative Budget Proposals for consideration by their elected representatives in the County Assembly on 26th May 2022. The contained proposals aim to address among others, the social and economic needs of young people in Nandi County, foster transparency and accountability, and strengthen the participation of citizens in matters of interest to them.

This memorandum carries the Aspiration of young people in Nandi County which defines a life that the youth of Nandi desire to live, and proposed interventions that if included in the budget and implemented will facilitate the realization of the aspiration. It aims at securing the inclusion of transformative projects and programs that have the potential to create jobs and facilitate self-employment for young people in Nandi County. 

Through this memo, young people are pleading with their elected members and the leadership of the  County Assembly and County Executive to consider including the contained proposals while reviewing the budget estimates for 2022/2023. 

The memo also calls on the County Assembly to provide leadership in ensuring that the budget serves as an instrument for the translation of policy and political promises as well as economic plans into tangible economic transformation. To facilitate the County Assembly in providing leadership, the memo contains arguments and discussions relating to budget credibility, inadequacies of execution and imbalances that collectively strengthen and align the budget to the social and economic needs of young people.  The discussions include an analysis of the budget trends and execution performance over the last five financial years and an assessment of funded programs that are relevant to the needs of young people. 

A notable issue in the analysis which has a significant effect on the available budget for development and service delivery is a substantive increase in the budget allocated spent on salaries and Operations and Maintenance over time. Over the last four years, the share of the budget spent on salaries has doubled from Ksh. 2.3 Billion in 2017/2028 to 3.9 Billion in 2021/2022. The elected members of the County Assembly – individually and collectively must honour their constitutional responsibilities and protect and represent the interest of the citizens of Nandi at the decision-making table by ensuring the budget is responsive and prudently managed. At the very least, the young people of Nandi expect the county assembly to obtain adequate justification for the exorbitant salary increases, high allocations to Operations and Maintenance, perennial under absorption of development budget vote and inadequate responsiveness of the budget to young people. 

The memo is one of the first budget submissions done by young people in the County as a means of meaningfully participating in the budget-making and related process of setting the budget and policy priorities with the aim of aligning the budget to the needs and preferences of young people.  In essence, young people feel that their participation in the budget is inadequate and inconsequential thus, the submission of a memorandum.

DOWNLOAD MEMO

For interviews and inquiries, contact: 

Nicodemus Muriuki | +254 747 757574 | nmuriuki@opengovinstitute.org

OGI Communication Specialist

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